To technology advocates, these are visions of how technology could transform U.S. classrooms. With a desktop or portable computer, a tablet or even a smartphone available to every student and every teacher, the idea is that school will be better tailored to students' needs and also better able to prepare them for the sorts of high-skilled, technology-centric jobs that will dominate in the future. It could even help close the achievement gap for disadvantaged students.
"If a teacher has class of 30 students and they don't have technology, the very best teachers are bouncing from student to student," said Karen Cator, president of Digital Promise, a nonprofit working with individual school systems that are going high tech. "When students have technology they can be helping themselves in some sense, and the teacher can come in when they're most needed."